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Skyline

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Aloha from a new member!

I've been looking to purchase some new speakers for quite a while and was recently told that with my preferences, to look into either Martin Logan's or Magnepan's ESLs. I have not had any experience with ESLs and after a quick search on Ml's site and on A'gon, I have found the abundance of information a little overwhelming. Are there any models I should look into if I'm looking to purchase a pair under $2k?

They'll be part of my computer rig as well as my 2-channel so they will be temporarily sourced via a EMU-1212M sound card for redbook, with a Sony SCD-CE595 for DSD playback until I can upgrade to something a little higher end like a Cary CD-308/Denon 2910/Rotel 1072/or something similar. The amplifier that will be used a Denon 2 channel integrated, the PMA-2000IVR. It is far from reference but performs relatively well for the price and is rated at 160WPC into 4 ohms. This'll also be upgraded soon to either another integrated or pre-amp feeding into the direct-in on the Denon.

For my preferences, I love a somewhat upfront musical presentation, with the primary focus on detail, imaging, and soundstaging. Bass is not that important to me as I prefer speakers that run on the lean side, though I do prefer that it still be tight and relatively impactful. It's a lot to ask for such a small budget but any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

-David
 

Reverb

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David,

Welcome to the club.

I am a big fan of the new series of speakers from Martin Logan, Summit, Vantage, Vista, ETC. but with your budget of $2000.00 I would recommend you go used and take a look at the Ascent. You can get a used pair of Ascents for around $2000 and the newer updated Ascent i for around 23-$2500.00. The Ascent is a wonderful speaker that will please just about any listener.
 
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Skyline

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Thanks, I will definitely look into the Ascents!

I found another pair, the SL3s, on A'gon but I haven't really been able to find out much about them. How do the SL3s compare to Martin Logans other offerings like the Ascent, Clarity, and Quest Z?

-David
 

Joey_V

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Welcome!!

For the price, I think a used pair of Mosaics will do you very good. Those can be found for about $1.2K. Easy on the back too, in case you move to college soon.

Besides that, the Ascents are good... or if you can find a used pair of the Vista, you'll be in ML heaven.

Aside from that.... speakers like the Clarity on used market will fetch about $1700, but I saw one sell for only $1500. The Clarity are good speakers and will give you a good intro to the world of stats. Though they are not the last word in terms of dynamics and realism, their clean and clear sound especially in a room the size of a bedroom, will be music to your ears.

Besides, when you buy ML (especially used), you will find that the market will keep the prices at a good level no matter what. Some speakers (like the ones we talked on the phone about) are bad investments as you get almost nothing back upon resale.

The beauty about the cheaper MLs aside from their availability on the used 'gon market and the good values they provide in terms of sheer price, is the fact that most cheaper MLs are lightweight and easy to ship once you decide to upgrade to the bigger stats.

Take for instance, the Strata Minis (that we talked about), those weigh over 140lbs EACH! Whereas the ML Clarity barely tip the scale at 40lb each! This gives you ease of upgrading once the bug bites.

And let me tell you.... as everyone on this site will agree.... "Joeyitis" is a very dangerous disease!

You have been warned, beware!:stop:

You thought headfi was bad? This is MLO, baby.:clap:

Sorry about your bank account. :duh:

Your friend,
Joey

PS
:welcome:
 
S

Skyline

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Yeah thanks a lot for your help today Joey! If I had ordered those Minis I think I would've cried after I set them up. :p

I've been looking into the Ascents and the Vistas and at around $2200-2900, they both seem to be a bit out of my price range. The Claritys and the SL3s look very promising though, and seem to offer quite a bit of performance despite their budget prices. One thing I can't get over though, is just how sleek all the ML speakers look. Compared to the normal MDF rectangles I'm used to, the MLs look stunning. Glad you let me on to them man! :cheers:
 

Charliemike

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I think that while the SL3s offer a taller and wider sound field, the Claritys are the smart play here for what you're looking for.

They are AMAZING speakers. They are what got me started in ML to begin with.

I wish that the SL3 was a little more modern like the Clarity but my SL3s are 10 years old so what do I expect? LOL

The size of the Claritys in your situation would make them ideal ... However, please keep in mind that those ESL panels completely change depending on where you are in relation to the sound field.

If you aren't going to sit in front of them 100% of the time you listen to them, then you're probably going to be somewhat disappointed with ESLs. Sitting off to the side really cuts down on the magic they produce.

The great thing about Claritys though is that you can go to Best Buy and demo the bejeezus out of them and see for yourself.

My suggestion is to take your two of favorite CD/SACD/DVD and make those your reference discs. Every time you go somewhere to listen to speakers take those discs with you. It's the only way you can really see the differences.

I did that with a Dave Matthews DVD (okay so it's not Andres Segovia but I don't care!) and after listening to the Claritys I was completely turned off by everything else from DefTech to B&W to ML's own Mosaic.

Good luck!
 

C.A.P

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Any of these mentioned used ML will work. However; I would steer away from the larger older designs like the Quest or any thing bigger. This is not because they are not good ! They just LOVE large rooms and large amps. If you try and stuff a Quest or Re Quest in a small say 12 x 20 room you will get standing wave, central station. The small dimension just is to close for them to breath and they sound blurred and phasy. The longer dimension will work but you are doing a lot of neer field listening. I had to move mine into a new room to get the best sound out of them . Put them in a BIG room and they rival some of the newer systems. Remember your room size before buying . IT REALY PLAYS INTO THE SOUND !
 
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karma

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Aloha from a new member!

I've been looking to purchase some new speakers for quite a while and was recently told that with my preferences, to look into either Martin Logan's or Magnepan's ESLs.
-David
HI Dan,
Just to nit pick a point, Magnepan's are not electrostatic speakers in spite of their appearance. They operate based on magnetic forces very similar to conventional cone type speakers.

Electrostatic speakers, OTH, use the attraction and repulsion of electric charges to move the speaker diaphram. It's a totally different scheme.

Sparky
 

marlin

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Welcome to the group.
I have enjoyed Martin Logans in one form or another for 3-4 years now. I recently purchased a set of demo Aeon I's from the local dealer for $2200. As good as new with full warranty for $1300 off. They are a great speaker though not bass heavy. I don't find them lacking in any area.
Whichever model you choose be prepared to experience music like never before.
Happy Hunting.
Marlin
 

amey01

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Lots of good advice here - definently go used, and try to listen to your prospective purchase with your equipment first - the Ascents and SL3s are probably the best in your budget, but your electronics might not be up to the task (and your room might be too small). In that case, the Clarity is probably your best bet, and if your amp really struggles then the Mosaic (I think) is an easier drive again.

Good luck and welcome to the club.
 
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Skyline

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I've been doing a lot of research and it seems the SL3s will offer the best price to performance ratio for me, and at probably around $1500-1600 shipped, will also allow me to have more money left over for upgrades to my source and amplifier then if I bought something like the Claritys or Ascents.

The one thing that really drove me away from the Claritys is the bass roll off after 46hz. The SL3s reach down to 30hz and while I don't like a lot of bass, I do like deep bass. The Claritys do look a whole lot sexier though...:p
 

Charliemike

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I've been doing a lot of research and it seems the SL3s will offer the best price to performance ratio for me, and at probably around $1500-1600 shipped, will also allow me to have more money left over for upgrades to my source and amplifier then if I bought something like the Claritys or Ascents.

The one thing that really drove me away from the Claritys is the bass roll off after 46hz. The SL3s reach down to 30hz and while I don't like a lot of bass, I do like deep bass. The Claritys do look a whole lot sexier though...:p
I got mine used last Feb for $1500 WITH an extra set of panels.

I'd hold out for $1200 at most.
 

amey01

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I've been doing a lot of research and it seems the SL3s will offer the best price to performance ratio for me, and at probably around $1500-1600 shipped, will also allow me to have more money left over for upgrades to my source and amplifier then if I bought something like the Claritys or Ascents.

The one thing that really drove me away from the Claritys is the bass roll off after 46hz. The SL3s reach down to 30hz and while I don't like a lot of bass, I do like deep bass. The Claritys do look a whole lot sexier though...:p
I believe that the SL3 may also have a bass cut switch (to reduce bass amount, not depth) which may help you integrate them into the room.
 

Joey_V

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SL3 eh?

Never heard it before... but I do agree... the Clarity is the one "bringing sexy back". 46hz, is actually pretty good... if you remember the LSi9, those cut out at about 48hz from my RS spl meter measurements. I had the Mosaics (same extension as the Clarity) and those thing pounded in my bedroom, I would always leave the SVS PC+ that I used to have "off".

I still say, Clarity... svelte and contemporary looking. You could always move up to the Vista at a later date, considering the Clarities are rather easy to ship to your future potential buyer. :)

Or how about the Scenarios? For $900, I dont see how you can go wrong.
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrplan&1168058550

Though, I never heard the SL3, so I could be wrong.

Joey
 
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cyclone

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I've got a pair of sequel II's with a couple of f series Velodyne subs and it sounds great, even with new stat panels for the sequels you'd come in at about your price.
 

Charliemike

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SL3 eh?

Never heard it before... but I do agree... the Clarity is the one "bringing sexy back". 46hz, is actually pretty good... if you remember the LSi9, those cut out at about 48hz from my RS spl meter measurements. I had the Mosaics (same extension as the Clarity) and those thing pounded in my bedroom, I would always leave the SVS PC+ that I used to have "off".

I still say, Clarity... svelte and contemporary looking. You could always move up to the Vista at a later date, considering the Clarities are rather easy to ship to your future potential buyer. :)

Or how about the Scenarios? For $900, I dont see how you can go wrong.
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrplan&1168058550

Though, I never heard the SL3, so I could be wrong.

Joey
The reason I went with the SL3s is that because they are taller and wider, I can stand up in front of the pair and not have that sound field cut-off that the Claritys do. The SL3s are probably 6' tall versus I would say about 5' for the Claritys.

The SL3s produce an amazing soundstage and have a really nice wide dispersion. The room that I listened to the SL3s in before I bought them was an apartment in NYC with hardwood floors that was about 22-25' long and about 15' wide with glass windows behind the SL3s and they sounded amazing. I've never heard Stevie Ray Vaughn sound so good.
 
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Skyline

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SL3 eh?

Never heard it before... but I do agree... the Clarity is the one "bringing sexy back". 46hz, is actually pretty good... if you remember the LSi9, those cut out at about 48hz from my RS spl meter measurements. I had the Mosaics (same extension as the Clarity) and those thing pounded in my bedroom, I would always leave the SVS PC+ that I used to have "off".

I still say, Clarity... svelte and contemporary looking. You could always move up to the Vista at a later date, considering the Clarities are rather easy to ship to your future potential buyer. :)

Or how about the Scenarios? For $900, I dont see how you can go wrong.
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrplan&1168058550

Though, I never heard the SL3, so I could be wrong.

Joey
Argh, so many choices! What have you driven me to??

Those Scenarios look like a steal, but I would prefer not to buy from a zero-feedback seller just in case complications arise. I will defnitely be on the look out for another pair to come up though.

The Claritys also look like great performers but a good condition pair with shipping to Hawai'i, I imagine would come in at or maybe even slightly above $2k. This would of course leave me very little to upgrade my source and amp. Which according to everyone so far, will probably be the weakpoint of my system.

The reason I went with the SL3s is that because they are taller and wider, I can stand up in front of the pair and not have that sound field cut-off that the Claritys do. The SL3s are probably 6' tall versus I would say about 5' for the Claritys.

The SL3s produce an amazing soundstage and have a really nice wide dispersion. The room that I listened to the SL3s in before I bought them was an apartment in NYC with hardwood floors that was about 22-25' long and about 15' wide with glass windows behind the SL3s and they sounded amazing. I've never heard Stevie Ray Vaughn sound so good.
That's a pretty big room! Do you think the SL3s would sound subpar in a bedroom?
 

JonFo

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I've been doing a lot of research and it seems the SL3s will offer the best price to performance ratio for me, and at probably around $1500-1600 shipped, will also allow me to have more money left over for upgrades to my source and amplifier then if I bought something like the Claritys or Ascents.

The one thing that really drove me away from the Claritys is the bass roll off after 46hz. The SL3s reach down to 30hz and while I don't like a lot of bass, I do like deep bass. The Claritys do look a whole lot sexier though...:p
The SL3's are definitely nice, but an older set will require repaneling soon (~$550) so factor that in. Also, the old woofer in there might not be up to spec.
As noted, the drive requirements for an SL3 are substantially higher than a Clarity. A receiver will not cut it (unless it's a Sunfire receiver)

I'd get the Clarity and plan on adding a Sub. None of the ML's do that great in the bass due to their recommended positioning out in the room. A sub is a must IMHO.
The mid-bass in the Clarity will also be a good bit better than the SL3 due to the higher crossover point (450Hz).

For your room size, I'd recommend the Clarity.
 

Joey_V

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Clarity for the moment, get tubes and SS gear to match it with... then move up to the next level MLs... rinse, repeat, dry.

The SL3 would no doubt, sound better (IMO) than the smaller Clarities, but with the panel aging and the larger size.... shipping out for an upgrade would be a little more difficult or cost prohibitive.

Up to you though, my friend.

Joey :cheers:
 
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